Scoroncocolo TechPages

 only search Scoroncocolo

Windows Hacks and Facts

Cool Software.

XP, Vista and Windows 7 tips and tweaks and lots of other geeky things for computer users

Blog Roll




Online Tech Tips

How-To Geek

What's On My PC

Bill Mullins' Weblog - Tech Thoughts

evilfantasy's blog





Scoroncocolo's Intelligent Design

Goofing-off Page

The National Debt

The Beer Page


Contact Me

Recent Posts

Internet Memes

Popular, Free Smartphone Apps

Some Things I Didn't Know About the iPhone 4s

A-Google-A-Day The Google Game

Websites Blocked In China

Google's New What Do You Love

Me On The Web and Google Alerts

The Les Paul Google Doodle

The Onion, Facebook and Literally

Zombie Alert!

Disk Defragmentation Is Automated with Vista and Windows 7

Don't Goolge Osama bin Laden

Amazon Cloud Drive Music Player

Internet Explorer 9

Google Profile

Black Hat SEO

Google Chrome 9

Use Your Keyboard and Not Your Mouse

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

Microsoft Office Web Apps Vs Google Docs

Google Docs

Google Dashboard

Google Web History


Facebook Security

Firefox Add-On NoScript


Google's Free Stuff

Dropbox - File Storage and Syncing

Cloud Computing with Gladinet and SkyDrive

How to Use Google Wave

Backing-up and Synching Files with SyncToy

Internet Browsing Inside a Sandbox

Computer Tips and Tricks

On-line Backup Strategies


Google PageRank

Long Tail SEO

What Is SEO - SEO DO's And Don'ts

Vista and XP Keyboard Shortcuts

What's the Best Web Browser

Windows NotePad

Big Brother Is Watching?

How to Create a Web Page - Part One

Windows Live Mesh

Vista's Flip3D and XP's WinFlip

Updating with Secunia and RadarSync

Live Sync


What's Going On Behind Your Back

Vista Snipping Tool

Hide Files in JPEGs

Hide Files in Vista or XP

Input Director

November 27, 2011

Bookmark and Share
Scoroncocolo's Somethings To Think About -
       "Experience is that marvelous thing that allows us to recognize a mistake when we make it again."

Smart Phone Voice Recognition Is the Future

Siri and Android Voice Activation Applications

Scoroncocolo, Scoroncocolo Tech Pages, A-Google-A-DayIn the very near future you will spend more time talking to your phone than using your phone to talk to other people.


Siri can answer any question ...well, almost any question.

As Yogi Berra once so famously observed, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future".

But a lot of smart people are predicting that voice-activated apps for smart phones are going to explode in popularity in the very near future. Am I talking about Siri, the iPhone 4s "personal assistant"? Well, who isn't talking about Siri? Siri is a phenomenally successful platform for Apple. Ever since I got my new iPhone 4s I haven't been able to stop playing around with and seriously using this fantastic voice-activated application.

But there are some neat voice-activated apps for Android phones too. Jeannie (free) is one and Iris (free) is another. Hum, Iris spelled backward is ... And then there's Eva but she'll cost you $9. And there are other free Android voice-activated interaction apps like Vlingo Virtual Assistant. But the truth is that if you are using an Android phone you may already have most of the voice activated features baked-in to your OS to use some neat features that some people think that only Siri can deal with. Windows Phone 7 and Android both have their own voice command tools, Tellme and Voice Actions, pre-installed in the latest editions of their Operating Systems.

One of the most useful things that Siri can do is send an email to anyone in your contacts without you having to do anything other than speak into your phone. And yes, Windows Phone 7 and the newest Android phones can do this too, sort of anyway. But to make this happen with an iPhone 4s, you simply raise the phone to your ear whenever the LCD screen is active. The phone doesn't even have to be unlocked. Siri will launch and ask what she can help you with. You can say "Send and email to Bob" or "Email Bob" and Siri will ask you for a Subject for your email and if you say something like "my brother's birthday party" Siri will say, "Fine. What would you like your email to say?" and you can then dictate the body of your message. Siri will then say, "I've got it. Are ready to send it?" and "yes" and it's gone. Or you can tap on the message to edit it or add to it. At this point you can tap the microphone icon and continue dictating using not Siri but the iPhone's built in voice recognition software Nuance's Dragon Dictation. And unlike with Siri, you can take your time and use standard dictation terms like - comma, period, new paragraph, and all caps and all caps off, etc.

Apparently from what I'm hearing and seeing on the Web is that a lot of people don't know that it isn't necessary to go through all that interaction with Siri. All you really have to do to send an email using Siri is hold the phone to your ear and once Siri launches you say "Email Bob about my brother's birthday party and say it will be at my place at 4pm on the 23rd" and Boom that's it. The syntax is Email (recipient) About (subject) and Say (text of the message).

Of course Siri can do a lot of other useful things like post Tweets, Facebook updates, and send text messages. And Siri is a wiz at math. Why would you need to fiddle around with finding your calculator on your phone when you can just raise the phone to your ear and say "295 times 12". Siri says "O.K. here you go" and spits out the answer - 3540. She, I mean it, can also answer any trivia question you might be wondering about like, "What is the population of Pittsburgh?" - 305,704 or "Who won the World Series in 1967?" - the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Siri on iPhone 4s is one of the most incredible innovations in modern computing technology. This is another of Steve Jobs' dreams that came true.

Evernote and Your Smart Phone


Evernote Works Well With Smart Phones

Normally on weekdays I've got a long commute to and from work. Anyone driving faster than me on the freeways is an idiot and anyone driving slower than me is an imbecile and during the time most days of every week that I spend dodging imbeciles and idiots thoughts occur to me that need to jotted down. Pen and paper is a rather dice option at 70 mph. The perfect solution is the Evernote app on my iPhone.

Evernote is a cool application that you can use with any smart phone that will let you create notes to yourself that will almost instantly show up on all of your computers. You'll want to download the Evernote app to your iPhone or any Android phone. Next you'll want to download and install Evernote's Desktop application to all of your work and home PC's and Macs. Once you've done this you'll find that anytime you make a note on any of your devices, that note will be almost instantly accessible on all of your phones and computers. That alone is reason enough to start using Evernote.

Sure, there have been other note-taking programs available for several years. I used to use and used to think very highly of Instapaper. But innovations recently introduced by Evernote make it superior to any of its rivals at least for the time being.

Evernote lets you make notes to yourself in a number of ways. You can save Web pages or portions of Web pages or links to Web content.

In keeping with the theme of this post (Voice-Activated Computing) you can instantly create audio notes (WAV files) by speaking into your phone. Granted, you do have to use some finger taps to make this happen. You have to open your phone and swipe to find the Evernote app then you have to tap open the app. Once the app is open you need to tap the + sign and then tap Audio before you can begin making an Audio note.

Here's a far better way to make a note to yourself using your phone in conjunction with Evernote that will instantly be recorded to every computer and device you have Evernote installed on. Let's suppose my above hypothetical scenario. You're weaving in and out of traffic at 75 miles an hour and some earth-shattering idea occurs to you. All you need to do is hold your phone to your ear and say "Email Evernote about this great idea and say Oh my God I think I've just deciphered the Voynich Manuscript" or whatever and when you get to your work computer or home computer your great idea is there waiting for you unforgotten.

This works because when you sign up with Evernote, you will be given an email address for Evernote that you can add to your phone's contacts. So you can send Evernote emails or text messages as easily as you can send them to anyone else in your contacts.

Let's Talk About Siri


Siri Can Be Philosophical at Times or She Can Be a Little Surly

A lot of Android users and Windows Phone users are quick to say about Siri, "My phone can do that too." But for now, at least, those phones and apps made to work on those phones can't begin to do all the things that Siri can do on an iPhone 4s. She is not just a voice recognition device, she is a Personal Assistant software device. She does hands-free email, sms, appointments, reminders, alarms and on and on. Plus, Siri interacts with you in surprisingly intelligent ways. In some ways Siri can be said to "have a personality". She can be... well, surly at times. This is part of the fascination with this amazing product from Apple.

Here's just one instance of what I mean by that. If you say to Siri, "Open the pod bay doors," which, as I'm sure you know, is a famous line from Stanley Kubrick's movie 2001 A Space Odyssey, Siri will usually but not always say "I'm afraid I can't do that," with Siri very cleverly playing the role of the computer HAL in the Kubrick movie. Sometimes Siri will respond with "We intelligent agents will never live that down, apparently." Recently, I got this rather curt responce from Siri when I once too often, apparently, asked her to open the pod bay doors - "That's it... I'm reporting you to the Intelligent Agents' Union for harrassment." Ouch!

In another instance of it feeling almost as if you are dealing with a human-like agent when you ask Siri a question, if you ask her, "What is the meaning of life"? She will sometimes answer simply - "42" which, amazingly, is absolutely the correct answer according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

You should watch this video of Siri going mono a mono with Windows phone 7. After all, as Yogi Berra once so famously said - "You can observe a lot just by watching."

Thanks For Visiting the Tech Pages

Vague and Nebulous Computer Tips and TricksQuestions? Comments? Did I get something wrong? Email me at and I WILL get back to you.

Please add this page, or better yet my entire site, to your Favorites and keep checking back. This page is a work in progress. long tail seoI intend to edit it and add to it from time to time. In the meantime, if you have any ideas about how I could enhance the content of this page, please email me about it.

If you see anything in this post that needs to be corrected, email me about that, as well. I'll make the changes and make sure you get credit for spotting my mistakes. If you have any questions or comments about anything in this post or any other posts on the Tech Pages, email me at and I will get back to you.

Don't forget to visit my Home Page at . And if that's how you got here in the first place, hit your Back button and look around. You can read my other Tech Pages posts by going to my home page and looking for them there. You can also look on the left side of this page and click on any of my Previous Posts.

To make this page and all of the other of my Tech Pages easy to find, type Ctrl + d to bookmark me and come back once a week or so and see what's new.

blog comments powered by Disqus
About - Services - Portfolio - Contact Us - Home Page

Copyright © Scoroncocolo 2008 - 2011